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Sharpe's Honor (Richard Sharpe's Adventures, No. 7) Paperback – April 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


''Sharpe and his creator are national treasures.'' --Sunday Telegraph

''Bernard Cornwell is a literary miracle. Year after year, hail, rain, snow, war and political upheavals fail to prevent him from producing the most entertaining and readable historical novels of his generation.'' --Daily Mail

''Cornwell's narration is quite masterly and supremely well-researched.' Observer 'The best battle scenes of any writer I've ever read, past or present. Cornwell really makes history come alive.'' --George R.R. Martin --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Bernard Cornwell's Richard Sharpe series takes its hero to the battle of Waterloo--and beyond. Several novels are the basis of a television miniseries. He was born in London and lives in Chatham, Massachusetts.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reissue edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014029435X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140294354
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,142 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bernard Cornwell was born in London in 1944 - a 'warbaby' - whose father was a Canadian airman and mother in Britain's Women's Auxiliary Air Force. He was adopted by a family in Essex who belonged to a religious sect called the Peculiar People (and they were), but escaped to London University and, after a stint as a teacher, he joined BBC Television where he worked for the next 10 years. He began as a researcher on the Nationwide programme and ended as Head of Current Affairs Television for the BBC in Northern Ireland. It was while working in Belfast that he met Judy, a visiting American, and fell in love. Judy was unable to move to Britain for family reasons so Bernard went to the States where he was refused a Green Card. He decided to earn a living by writing, a job that did not need a permit from the US government - and for some years he had been wanting to write the adventures of a British soldier in the Napoleonic wars - and so the Sharpe series was born. Bernard and Judy married in 1980, are still married, still live in the States and he is still writing Sharpe.

Customer Reviews

Cornwell's research is as excellent as usual.
Mr. Lu.
Cornwell's work only seems to get better with time and this book is proof of his talent!
Another page turner in the series, this book is as good as any of the others.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Matthew P. Ward on November 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the odd man out in the series (so far), which is a nice change. For much of the novel, Sharpe is out of the army, without Harper or Hogan, and on the run, trying to clear his name and win back his officer's commission.
The scene where Sharpe rescues his lover, a onetime French spy, from a nunnery is the funniest writing in the series so far (eight books and counting). And when a fortuitous explosion frees him from the French, the description of Sharpe wandering away, drunken and dazed, from the burning castle is surreal.
For anyone who thinks Sharpe is a one-dimensional hero character, Sharpe's Honor shows Sharpe's many weaknesses: his inability to sidestep a ruinous challenge to his honor; his blind obsession with a woman who is at best, fickle, at worst, treacherous; his destructive self-pity.
This novel concentrates on the interior worlds of Sharpe and other characters more than earlier books have. It's illuminating to see the battle of Vittoria from so many viewpoints. And Cornwell continues to show that truth is stranger than fiction by taking incidents that really happened, such as the bizarre looting of the French baggage train, and weaving them into the story.
Sharpe's Honor is another strong entry in the series.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "p_trabaris" on August 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sharpe's Honor by Bernard Cornwell is an exciting adventure story. Please note spoilers as follows. Major Sharpe is challenged to a duel by a Spanish General and is nearly hanged for his trouble. Later in order to exonerate himself he attempts to capture his accuser, the conniving and beautiful La Puta Durada. La Puta Durada (one of the neatest names in fiction) which means the golden whore, can vouch for Sharpe's innocence. Along the way he meets a psychopathic partisan named The Slaughterer, a malignant priest who wants to restore the inquisition, and Major Ducos a French spy-master. Even though there was plenty of adventure, I missed some of the minor characters, Major Hogan and Sargent Harper are practically no shows. I admit that this story does not measure up to the others in the Sharpe series. "Sharpe's Company", "Sharpe's Gold" or "Sharpe's Rifles" are better entries in the series and more exciting to read. However, "Sharpe's Honor" has its moments. The battle scenes are very realistic and surprisingly enough we are treated to more battle strategy. Normally in Cornwell's Sharpe books the point of view is from the main character Sharpe, but this time we are given several points of view of the battle and one of them (refreshingly enough) from the French side. But I must warn you the battle happens very late in the story and by then most of the plot lines have been resolved. One interesting item in the story is the prevailing theme that Sharpe should have no honor. Primarily because Sharpe came up from the ranks (starting out as a private and working up to a commissioned officer). The only one who thought Sharpe had any honor is Sharpe himself. "Sharpe's Honor" is fun and a good read.
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Format: Paperback
"A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house." Matthew 13:57

Major Richard Sharpe is a living legend to the British Army, but he finds that others don't see him as even honorable. Not knowing the Biblical advice above, he takes it personally . . . and digs a deep hole for himself.

With the death of Sharpe's wife at the end of Sharpe's Enemy, the series was bound to take a new turn in the 16th book in the chronological order of events. It's a u-turn back toward the alluring charms of La Marquesa, the blond French spy whose treacherous wiles Sharpe cannot resist. Sharpe also has problems with temptations concerning his honor. Other men are even weaker when it comes to pride and greed in this entertaining look at the narrow line between doing the right thing and going off the rails.

Sharpe's Honor nicely balances several story lines that will entertain you:

1. The battle of Vitoria, one of the most important conflicts in the Peninsular Wars.

2. A French scheme to divide Spain from the British.

3. An act of revenge aimed by Pierre Ducos at Sharpe for breaking his glasses.

4. An attempt to re-institute the Spanish Inquisition.

5. A lust story involving Sharpe and the woman known as the Golden (lady who makes herself available to all comers).

6. A fascinating look at greed from several different several dimensions.

7. Sharpe's developing sense of self-worth. Now that he's a major, he sees himself differently from before . . . and wants to be better than his betters.

8. Deadly hand-to-hand combat.

Mr. Cornwell also mixes up his writing style.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kristin724 on December 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Poor end, but Sharpe's Honour Novel Another Page Turner
By Kristin Battestella

In the throngs of homebound illness, what am I doing? Reading Sharpe, of course. Bernard Cornwell's ninth novel in the series again adds depth that didn't fit in the fine on screen adaptation.

As I've mentioned before, the television series may have taken a few misses by filming the novels out of order and prematurely introducing characters. The Sharpe's Sword book comes before the Honour novel, yet the Honour film introduces La Marquesa-according to them, she's never met Sharpe. Fortunately, the novel expands on their unusual relationship from the Sword novel. Sharpe's wife is now dead, and he must find La Marquesa to prove his innocence and keep the fragile balance between England and Spain. But of course, Sharpe's motives are entirely manly; wishing to see the `Golden Whore' again.

I prefer Cornwell's writing when it is Sharpe dominated; Richard's conflicts, internal drama amidst historical dilemmas. Sure I like Sean Bean and action and the period production and cheekiness of the Sharpe films, but I don't read for those things. When Sharpe's Honour is intimately Sharpe, it is very much like Hornblower. Sharpe is the hero we love of course, but he's also a man, a common soldier caught in a world not of his making.

Unfortunately, Cornwell strays more and more from the close viewpoint of Sharpe and his friends as the series moves forward. After a lovely build up of Sharpe alone, then with La Marquesa; the latter third of the Honour novel switches between Wellington, La Marquesa, the French Marshals, even King Joseph. Of course Sharpe couldn't be everywhere for the big historical finale, but we spend so much time with strangers and history for the end.
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